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Millions die each year from preventable water-related diseases, and hundreds of millions more suffer from debilitating illnesses due to a lack of adequate, clean drinking water.

Peter H. Gleick argues that large, centralised water systems — which can be ecologically damaging and socially intrusive — are not the only way to meet growth in demand for water supplies.

A new approach is needed, he says, which aims to improve overall productivity of water use and deliver water services matched to the need of end users, rather than to find new sources of supply.

Link to full article in Nature

Reference: Nature 418, 373 (2002)

Photo credit: WHO

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